Massachusetts updates out-of-state travel advisory before July 4th weekend


Even within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Charlie Baker hopes vacationers can nonetheless get pleasure from their “favorite places” in Massachusetts this summer time. And starting on Wednesday, guests from seven different northeastern states will now not be requested to self-quarantine first.

Baker introduced Tuesday that Massachusetts will exempt vacationers — each arriving and returning — from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey from the state’s 14-day self-quarantine advisory, attributable to declining coronavirus charges in these states.

“People in those places should be able to visit Massachusetts without living up to that 14-day quarantine,” Baker mentioned throughout a press convention, noting that the change “reflects the facts on the ground.”

The two-week quarantine advisory — which directs out-of state guests to remain inside and keep away from contact with individuals outdoors one’s family  — stays in place for many guests from different locations, aside from important employees touring to Massachusetts for work functions.

Anyone with signs of COVID-19 is instructed to not journey, officers say.

“We’re home to many destinations that people usually travel to visit from all over the world, and there’s no doubt this season will be different and immensely difficult for visitors and businesses,” Baker mentioned.

The change — simply days earlier than the July 4th vacation weekend — comes per week after Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey began requiring visitors from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days, as locations like Arizona, Florida, and Texas report record numbers of new cases. Those who don’t adjust to the requirement might face fines starting from $2,000 for first-time offenders to $10,000 for repeated violations.

In his opening remarks, Baker alluded to the “sharp increase” in hospitalizations and infections throughout the South and West areas of the nation, which he known as “a very real reminder to all of us about just how contagious this virus can be.”

However, the Massachusetts governor mentioned he had no plans to couple the state’s quarantine advisory with any enforcement measures, even for guests from hotspot states.

“There are real constitutional issues associated with limiting travel between states,” he mentioned, when requested about threatening to superb guests who don’t comply (several states with necessary quarantine necessities are dealing with lawsuits).

Based on data from the native lodging neighborhood, Baker mentioned the voluntary quarantine advisory in Massachusetts had up to now confirmed to be “a very effective tool to limit the number of people who come here,” whether or not it’s to hire a house or ebook a resort room.

“It definitely has had an impact,” he mentioned.

And those that have visited Massachusetts have been “pretty good about complying with” the quarantine advisory, the governor mentioned.

Baker mentioned he expects individuals in Massachusetts to trip for “a few days out of town at some point over the course of the summer,” however added “that probably means staying a little closer to home — somewhere around New England or the Northeast.”

“We’d like to see them go to the states that have the same kind of positive test trends that we have, which would be the ones that are generally around us,” he mentioned.

For these planning to depart Massachusetts, Baker urged them to likewise comply with native quarantine guidelines.

“COVID-19 will not be taking a summer vacation, and the way we deal with it should continue to factor that into our daily decisions,” he mentioned.